Yay, finally my new laptop arrived. When I ordered it on January 18th, Dell said I'd get it at or before February 20th. Luckily they finished it much earlier and it arrived in the mail yesterday.
Originally I'd have bought an Inspiron 1520 or 1525, but after I ordered one for my sister in December they took out the dedicated graphics card and only offered onboard solutions. Now I don't play games a lot anymore and there isn't that much of a need for a dedicated card, but the laptop wasn't that much cheaper either. I contacted a Dell employee through their Chat feature and wanted to ask him if they'd offer these models with a dedicated graphics card again. He didn't knew, but he offered me an XPS, which I declined (I don't like the look of them). Then he offered me a Vostro which was new to me. I was interested and it was exactly what I wanted. I had not known about Vostro before, because Dell markets this for Small and Home Office Users. You can order it as private person as well though. There's even a 14" widescreen version which was perfect because I wanted a little less bulky laptop as it travels around with me a lot and I'll never take anything but widescreen again.
So here it is and the tech specs read:
Intel Core2 Duo T7250 2.0Ghz
14.1" WXGA+ (1440x900) TrueLife display with black case and 2.0MP camera
nvidia GeForce 8400M GS 128MB
160GB Shockproof HDD (7200RPM)
8x DVD +/- RW
Intel Wireless-N, Bluetooth and a SD/MMC - MS/Pro card reader
Microsoft Windows Vista Business
The last item was a bit irritating because I ordered it with Windows XP actually, at least I thought so. Nevertheless I think Vista isn't all that bad. It feels quick actually, but I could be biased by my old Pentium-M 1.86Ghz which didn't feel that fast anymore. So I'll stay with it for the moment.
So far I'm quite happy with this new laptop. I like the keyboard which is very quiet and has a nice soft feeling. I like the buttons below the touchpad which are also very quiet and don't make the loud clicking noises that my old laptop made. The black business look is also very professional, though the back of the display gets greasy a little too fast. Sound is pretty good too, not as good as my old Compaq which had JBL speakers, but I think better than my old Inspiron. The TrueLife display... well.... it's certainly better regarding contrast, but the horizontal angle is quite narrow. I think I like matte displays better, but they're much darker in comparison.
The only negative experiences so far has been with the DVD drive which is a totally cheap plastic unit that seems to break easily. The notebook seems to be very durable otherwise, except for the battery which doesn't sit that firmly in its place.
Regarding the keyboard, I always miss the arrow keys slightly. I guess this is because they sit at the very end of the laptop, whereas the 15.4" that I had before still had some space.
My old notebook will go to my grandpa who will be very happy to upgrade. He's 75 years old and learns how to operate a computer and sort the photos he makes. I would not have upgraded because my old one is just 2 years and it's still working great, but he wished for a better one and didn't want to buy a completely new one. Of course I'm not that altruistic and dual core fits me well right now as I'm often working and running programs in parallel.